August rambling: unchallenged

new Red Cross guidelines

Voters in Ohio reject GOP-backed proposal that would have made it tougher to protect abortion rights. Poor Mike Huckabee complains that “the secular progressive left.. got one step closer to bypassing the legislative process and overturning pro-life, pro-family, and pro-God policies passed by duly elected representatives of the people.”

The Evidence Against djt is Unchallenged. Here are the  latest indictments (well latest before Georgia…)

The Heritage Foundation’s scary Mandate for Leadership 2025 will likely be a handbook for the next Republican administration.

Barbados, American Slavery, and Racism

How a Grad Student Uncovered the Largest Known Slave Auction in the U.S

The Black History of the Montgomery Brawl Folding Chair

Fishing While Black

White Mom Accused of Trafficking Biracial Daughter Sues Southwest: Based on a ‘Racist Assumption’

Global child sexual abuse probe that was launched after two FBI agents were killed led to almost 100 arrests

A Hollywood Insurrectionist’s Path to Extremism

A Pathogen Too Far: How the 1918 Pandemic Revolutionized Virology

On August 7, 2023, the American Red Cross implemented the FDA’s updated final guidance regarding an individual donor assessment for all blood donors regardless of gender or sexual orientation. This change eliminated previous FDA eligibility criteria based on sexual orientation. Here’s a Blood Donation Map.

New Buffalo Bills stadium cost overruns approaching $300M, AP sources say

The Biggest Weirdest Telescope We’ve Ever Built – Hank Green

I Would Rather See My Books Get Pirated Than This (Or: Why Goodreads and Amazon Are Becoming Dumpster Fires)

There Will Never Be Another Second Life

Library staff closes the book on the missing money mystery after a patron leaves $1,200 in a novel she returned.

William Friedkin, Acclaimed Director of ‘The French Connection’ and ‘The Exorcist,’ Dies at 87. I’m pretty sure I saw The French Connection in Poughkeepsie.

Arthur Schmidt Oscar-Winning Film Editor on ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’ and ‘Forrest Gump,’ [and a bunch of other noted films],  Dies at 86

Paul Reubens, Comic Behind the Madcap Pee-wee Herman, Dies at 70

Robbie Robertson, 80, Dies; Canadian Songwriter Captured American Spirit

Rodriguez, Musician, and Subject of ‘Searching for Sugar Man,’ Dies at 81

A review of emo songs

Now I Know:  The Woman Who Found Herself and An Odd Way to Celebrate Valentine’s Day and Christmas in August, Wisconsin Edition and How Atomic Bombs Blew Up the Counterfeit Art World and  How Photography Stopped Disney’s Rollercoaster In Its Tracks and The Triple-X Law Firm

The blog was down

My blog was down for a couple of hours on the evening of August 3. I have this program called Jetpack that lets me know. This wasn’t very pleasant, but whatever. What made me someone crazy is that it went down at least four more times in the next three hours, anywhere between three and twenty minutes.

Then it was down for seven hours on the morning of August 12. Though I have the info backed up, it made me cranky. Should I be looking at other companies, and if so, which ones? 

MUSIC

Somewhere Down The Crazy River – Robbie Robertson 

The Weight – Featuring Ringo Starr and Robbie Robertson | Playing For Change

Gambia – Sona Jobarteh 

Rock N Roll Heart – Lucinda Williams

In Your Love – Tyler Childers

Coverville 1452: Cover Stories for Robert Cray, Rush and A Flock of Seagulls and 1453: The Gamble & Huff Cover Story

Overture to a suite of incidental music for A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Mendelssohn

The Wizard and I – Ariana DeBose

Overture to The Magic Flute by Mozart

She Loves You – MonaLisa Twins

Abortion access, #MeToo, and plastic surgery

Drivers of inequity are not simply the result of individual acts of discrimination

Here are some items I’ve come across recently that I thought were helpful. The first is a page from the Guttmacher Institute called Roe v. Wade Overturned: Our Latest Resources. The most recent piece: “Abortion access in the United States has long been inequitable, due in large part to systemic racism and insufficient protections for low-income individuals. This analysis shows that these disparities are widening following the fall of Roe v. Wade and compiles additional evidence on a wide range of topics related to inequity in abortion access.”

I was also interested in this: “Much of the US abortion debate has focused on whether state abortion bans include exceptions that allow the procedure in some circumstances, such as rape, incest or life-threatening pregnancy complications. In a new op-ed for Ms. magazine, Elizabeth Nash of the Guttmacher Institute breaks down why focusing on these exceptions misses the bigger picture and even works to further the agenda of the anti-abortion movement. “

A useful site.

ITEM: One “Kentucky lawmaker… has proposed legislation that would allow the state to prosecute a person for criminal homicide if they get an illegal abortion.

“While the state has a trigger law banning abortion, the law in place targets doctors for performing abortions, as opposed to pregnant people who receive them. This new bill would subject all people involved to prosecution…

“Outside of abortion rights activists, the bill also received surprising backlash from anti-abortion groups and the state attorney general, who noted it would be wrong to charge women with homicide for terminating pregnancies. “

With such opposition, I don’t see this being enacted, fortunately.

CBS

ITEM: How Les Moonves and His CBS Loyalists Worked to Discredit Accuser: “It Was Sort of a Mafia Culture.”

“On Nov. 2, 2022, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced that she’d secured a $30.5 million settlement from CBS and its former president and CEO Leslie Moonves for misleading the company’s investors about his misconduct, concealing sexual assault allegations against him and related insider trading by another top CBS executive. Her office also released a 37-page report detailing how members of Moonves’ C-suite and others unsuccessfully sought to neutralize the crisis before it knocked off the top boss, tanked the share price, and gummed up a then-nascent merger with Viacom. It’s a damning case study in corporate complicity, control, and cover-up.”

Most predators need accomplices, either active or passive, to continue to exploit others.

Material Girl

ITEM: You’re Not Offended That Madonna’s Had Plastic Surgery—You’re Offended That You Can Tell

“I’ve noticed a number of prominent female-focused organizations posting on social media in defense of Madonna’s right to do what she wants with her body, only to face criticism from their followers, who have called the singer ‘hypocritical,’ ‘ disgrace,’ and someone who ‘needs help’…

“The fact is, we’re all victims of the toxic pressure to ‘make the best’ of ourselves and not ‘let ourselves go.’ But there’s also a double standard that emerges if we’re seen to care too much— ‘how sad that she thinks she has to do that to herself.’ If you don’t try to look younger, it’s an admission of defeat. But if you do, and it’s obvious, that’s an even greater crime—one that other famous women, from Demi Moore on the Fendi catwalk (‘gone overboard’) to Kristin Davis in And Just Like That (‘awful’), have also committed.

“Naomi Wolf wrote The Beauty Myth three decades ago, pointing out how women were being held back by unrealistic beauty standards. Yet a 2019 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that—surprise, surprise—we still face a Catch-22. “

I was a little surprised by my level of irritation toward those criticizing Madonna for making her own choices.

“We are all one in Christ”

ITEM: “Two years ago, an Orange County megachurch took a stand that pitted it against conservative members of its denomination. It ordained three women as pastors. The Southern Baptist Convention has now ousted Saddleback Church, its second-largest congregation.

“Saddleback was among five churches found not to be ‘in friendly cooperation’ with the convention because they ‘have a female functioning in the office of pastor,’ according to a statement from Jared Wellman, chairman of the convention’s executive committee.

“In 2000, the Southern Baptist Convention made its ban on female pastors part of its doctrine.”

What century is this again?

Yet another reason not to vote for Ron DeSantis

ITEM: “Right-wing think tank the Claremont Institute allowed [Scott Yenor of Boise State University] to serve as a fellow with its Center for the American Way of Life.

“Claremont—whose stated mission is ‘to save Western civilization’—installed him in Florida as a Tallahassee-based “inaugural” senior director of state coalitions opposed to ‘woke leftism.’

Claremont President Ryan Williams announced the appointment “after he met with [Florida governor and potential Presidential candidate Ron] DeSantis in Tallahassee. Williams afterward praised ‘the bold executive and legislative leadership in the Sunshine State,’ adding that DeSantis had established ‘the first template of any red state in America.’

In a 2021 talk, Scott Yenor said women with careers are “medicated, meddlesome, and quarrelsome.”

“He said society should stop thinking of a girl ‘as a future worker or a future achiever, and start thinking of them as future wives and mothers.’

And, he advised, ‘if we want a great nation, we should be preparing young women to become mothers. Not finding every reason for young women to delay motherhood until they are established in a career or sufficiently independent.’

“If that isn’t alarming enough, Yenor also declared that great nations ‘are ultimately built by strong, responsible, sacrificial male leadership.’

Feminism? He sees it as a dire threat to the American way of life because ‘it teaches young boys and girls that they are motivated by much the same things and want much the same things.'”

January rambling: India #1 in ’23

Arthur answers my questions

Happy New Year! 2023

The U.S. Census Bureau’s projections

India will overtake China as the world’s most populous country in 2023
Martin Luther King, Jr.: Don’t Sleep Through the Revolution 
Bossism: Revolt of the Oligarch Class
The Debt Ceiling: a (p)review
Social Quitting: How social media barons squandered their lock-in and made themselves obsolete.
Attack of the Chatbots: Screenwriters’ Friend or Foe?
Person to Person with Norah O’Donnell, interview with Jon Stewart

Clint Meneely: 1975 recording about Meneely bells of Troy, NY

Barbara Walters Remembered by ‘The View’ Co-Hosts, Past and Present, in Show Tribute Episode
Pelé, , Charismatic Master of the “Beautiful Game,” Dies at 82

Sign Up To Be An Organ Donor. You can provide lifesaving organs to as many as eight people.

The Curious Case of Nebraska Man

A Plane of Monkeys, a Pandemic, and a Botched Deal: Inside a Science Crisis You’ve Never Heard Of

Now I Know – Grapefruits: The Nuclear Fruit? and 
The Littlest Big Winner and Then, Their Pants Exploded and The Sesame Seed Backlash of 2023 and America’s Secret, Tasty World War II Weapon? and Why Can’t Californians Buy This Snack?
Abortion rights

The Supreme Court’s decision last summer that overturned the federal right to an abortion sent Rachel Sweet into overdrive focused on two states (Kansas, Kentucky) that share traditionally conservative values.

“With those [successful] campaigns behind her, Sweet has had time to reflect on the lessons learned from those hard-fought victories, including what many activists on her side of the issue misunderstand about voters who are persuadable on abortion rights.”

(The takeaway here is that one should not be so quick to pigeonhole people who could turn out to be your political allies on some issues.
Buffalo
People have been talking about Buffalo, the second-largest city in New York State, a lot recently. Part of it has to do with the deadly weather; folks there are used to snow but not that. Some of it surely with the near-death on national television of  Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin, coincidentally, the first game I started watching from the beginning all season. There’s been a lot of “the city’s been through a lot this year,” going back to the shooting deaths of ten black folks at a supermarket in May 2022.
I’m not unhappy about it. It’s just that I hope we can show such concern for each other when there’s no crisis. I know this is an unrealistic ideal.
Quizzes and questions
fillyjonk does the annual quiz I completed
Arthur answered my questions about Nancy Pelosi v. Kevin McCarthy, and Sinema and  ranked voting and sheep
Music
Coverville 1425: The 2022 Coverville Countdown, Part One and 
1426: : The 2022 Coverville Countdown, Part 2 and 1427: The Kenny Loggins Cover Story and 1428: The Jeff Beck Tribute

Hymne (Hymn to the Blessed Sacrament), by Olivier Messiaen

Pale Blue Eyes – the Velvet Underground
The Boxer – Alison Krauss, Shawn Colvin, Jerry Douglas
The Stars and the Moon – Audra McDonald
Sumer is Icumen in – The Hilliard Ensemble
To Whom It May Concern – Lisa Marie Presley, who died at 54

“Weird Al” Yankovic Breaks Down His Most Iconic Tracks

Jeff Beck:  Farewell and Guitar Giant  dies at 78 and his 10 Best Songs: With Yardbirds, Solo & Beyond

Sunday Stealing: Last year I …

STILL liminal

Once again, I’m doing the Sunday Stealing, Last year, I… This is even though some of the questions are similar to the Sedingerian quiz I’m mostly posting tomorrow. You can compare and contrast my answers!

What song will always remind you of last year?  Doesn’t have to be a song released last year.

Running Up That Hill by Kate Bush. It recharted last year in the UK because of the program Stranger Things, which, BTW, I have never watched and don’t even know what platform it’s on. But I have heard it more often than ever since nearly four decades ago.

What do you wish you would have done more of?

Work on genealogy. I discovered that someone had posted on their family tree on Ancestry the purported parents of my great-grandfather, Samuel Walker, who I vaguely remember. But I don’t think this citation is correct because the demographics don’t work.

What do you wish you would have done less of?

Looking at the weekly COVID designation for my county. By the way, I swear Albany County and adjacent Rensselaer County were in lockstep regarding their COVID status for the entire year. It wasn’t true of other counties in the metro, such as Schenectady and Saratoga.

What was your favorite new TV program? Movie? Album/Songs? Or if you didn’t pick up any new ones, what are you still watching/listening to? Any recommendations?

Definitely no new TV program. I liked the new Puss In Boots movie I saw this week. Here is some music; I’d pick the new/old Sinatra album.

Too long ago

What did you do on your birthday and how old were you? Did you feel differently?

I have no idea what I did on my birthday. I was some multiple of 23; no, I didn’t feel particularly different.

What political or social issue stirred you the most?

The Supreme Court overturned women’s right to choose what they do with their bodies and the subsequent draconian laws passed by states.

Who was the most interesting new person you met?

Someone I talked with at the library gala.

What changed at your job?

The great thing about retirement is that I don’t have to think about that.

What changed in your home?

My daughter went to college.

Describe how a relationship changed.

My daughter went to college.

Do you think you are still the same person that you were at the beginning of the year?  How so?

Goodness, I hope not. If you’re not learning, you’re not living.

Summarize the year in three words or less. Bonus points for doing it in one word. Explain.

Liminal. It is a word that one of my pastors used in sermons at least twice. I mentioned this here. “Liminal ” comes from the Latin root, limen, which means “threshold.” The liminal space is the “crossing over” space – a space where you have left something behind, yet you are not yet fully in something else. 

The news distresses me

turning America into an idiocracy

distressesThe news distresses me. It has been true for a long while, yet even in a barrage of bad news, these trends got under my skin.

ITEM: “A North Carolina Republican congressional candidate floated a proposal to create a community review process that would determine whether survivors of rape and incest can get abortions.

“Bo Hines, the GOP candidate for North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District, wants to outlaw all abortions unless the mother’s life is at risk.

“‘He wants victims of rape and incest to be allowed to get an abortion on a case-by-case basis through a community-level review process outside the jurisdiction of the federal government,’ local news outlet WRAL reported.”

If you think a serious attempt at national legislation to ban abortion is impossible, that sounds like the conversation that Roe v. Wade would never be overturned before it was.

Anne Frank

ITEM: “Johnny Teague, who is running for Congress in a district that represents Houston, Texas, actually wrote a book in 2020 entitled ‘The Lost Diary of Anne Frank.’ In this book, which Teague claims is based on extensive and verifiable research, Anne Frank continues her diaries while under capture in Auschwitz, and her words now claim that she had accepted Jesus as her lord and savior – before eventually dying in the gas chambers.

“Let’s get one thing straight. This whole concept is pure, unadulterated horse…”

The number of antisemitic comments surged in 2021, and this is another banner year. It’s not just Kanye West or whatever he’s calling himself. Newsmax notes that ‘Antisemitism’ shot to the top of Google searches ahead of the midterms.

Alan Singer, a Long Island professor I’ve met, and a confirmed atheist, wrote I Am A Jew to take on the bigots.

ITEM: Herschel Walker and the Character Issue

“It’s this no-matter-what vote that’s really turning America into idiocracy. But it may be even worse than that. Whereas bad character and behavior used to be a political handicap, today it actually seems an asset.”

I watched Jordan Klepper Fingers the Midterms – America Unfollows Democracy last week. A scary half hour. Probably the weirdest bit was someone who insisted to Klepper that actor James Woods had replaced Joe Biden. What?

Crime

ITEM: Bail Reform: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (watch this!)

If you’ve seen Republican National Committee attack ads this political season, bail reform has been touted as the reason for increased criminality. This is despite the fact in almost all of the cases of violent crime cited, the alleged perpetrator was not out on bail.

The Republican candidate for governor, Lee Zeldin, falls squarely in that category. Frank Robinson noted why one ought not to vote for him. And my already-cast vote was definitely an anti-Zeldin ballot.

I’ve even seen it online, but also on the network news spewed by folks such as  Congressman Michael McCaul that Paul Pelosi’s assault is a sign that bail reform is terrible, even though the alleged assailant hadn’t even been arrested.

ITEM: This brings me to the item that triggered the post, the attack on Mr. Pelosi, which has garnered all sorts of BS conspiracy theories. One guy, djt, asserted that the window in the Pelosi home was broken from the inside, which he knows because… IDK.

A lot of the noise is on Twitter. I understand there has been a recent change in ownership. These are just some of the reasons why the news distresses me. Finally, a poem: A ‘plague on both houses’—still ends up a plague.

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial